THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our project thus
far. We have now raised over one third of our goal! Please continue to help us in these last two weeks.
The greenhouse build is on hold until our Kickstarter campaign is
finished. For the past week we have been focusing our energy on giving tours
and connecting with the community about Bushwick Campus Farm.
Just this past Tuesday, one of
our freshman classes, in the BeSmart School for Math and Research, organized a
farm tour for fifteen representatives of New York City’s Department of Education
(DOE). I stood back while our brilliant fourteen and fifteen year olds talked
about tilapia, cover crops, the importance of using vertical space, and the
superior taste of fresh carrots. They
lead a fantastic tour!
Our students invited the DOE representatives because they want Bushwick Campus Farm to be a model for other public schools. They
also used our farm to support their efforts as a new school in Brooklyn. Three of the four schools on the campus are under-enrolled. This means that the
more we can prove to the DOE that we have a bright academic future, the more
likely they will want to support our schools’ efforts to enroll more students,
instead of risking a closure.
This past week I also met with
the Principal of the Academy for Environmental Leadership. We brainstormed about
the Kickstarter project together, but got quickly sidetracked when she and her
administrator took me to visit some of their school’s indoor plants. They are
excited to move some of these into our greenhouse soon!
Last night, the Bushwick
School for Social Justice hosted their parent/teacher conferences. With the
help of the school’s parent coordinator and honors society students, we set up a
table and slideshow about the greenhouse project in the entrance hall. It was
great to talk to some new parents about our program. Once again, I talked to
students who were asking me how they could apply for a job at the farm - a
common question. The evening also gave me a chance to talk to two of our
students about the work they have been doing with NYC’s Youth Food Council.
They gave rave reviews. They described some of the theater activities that helped them to understand why many of the decisions at the state level are
guided by the priorities of the wealthy suburbanites, and not the poorer urban
neighborhoods. “The role-playing made me understand in a new way. It made it
more real,” one student said.
Already, the Bushwick Campus students have done a huge
amount to get this greenhouse project off the ground. Our students have volunteered at the farm, and dedicated their energy and skills to greenhouse builds on their
lunch breaks, after school, and on weekends. They are working in the rain, in
the snow (yes, during that pre-Halloween blizzard, they were there!), and at 8:00 AM on
Saturdays and school holidays. The ideas are there. The enthusiasm is there. We
just need the money.
Bushwick Campus high school is in one of the poorest neighborhoods
in Brooklyn. Please do what you can to help this community take control over
both their education and their access to fresh healthy food! Help our students
engage with hands-on learning opportunities year-round.
Spread the word
about our project: contact friends and families personally, bring this campaign
to your community center or church, or alert politicians and local businesses.
We need to reach our goal of $15,000 before December 30th. If we do not receive
$15,000, we won’t get anything at all. Don’t let that happen. Make a donation,
tell people about the project, and use your network, knowledge, and community
to help this amazing project.
The Bushwick Campus Greenhouse
Join us tonight at
EcoStation’s annual Winter Solstice Feast! We will be serving a huge meal in
celebration of the Bushwick Farmers Markets and Bushwick Campus Farm. There will be
music, dancing and all around good cheer! 7:00pm to 12:00am, @ Brooklyn Fireproof,
120 Ingraham Street.